Soccer hooligans heading to the Glenavon Coleraine match warned by PSNI
Soccer hooligans heading to Lurgan today for the Glenavon versus Coleraine match have been warned by the PSNI to be on their best behaviour.
Prior to previous matches there have been clashes in Lurgan between visiting fans and locals.
In a hard-hitting statement, the PSNI said they would not tolerate any trouble.
PSNI Craigavon posted a photo on their Facebook page from last season’s clash at Mourneview Park and warned fans that they will be on the look out for trouble makers.
The post said: “You may recognise these scenes from last season’s clash at Mourneview; the tens of thousands making their way down “Mourneview Way” up to the arch...no these DEFINITELY aren’t snaps taken by a Met mate at Spurs v Real on Wednesday night at Wembley...
“Last year, the vast majority of Coleraine fans were a credit to their club, conducting themselves impeccably and enjoying the day away from the North Coast.
“There were a few though who were set on trouble.
“Unfortunately for them, our DST don’t just do door smashing. They were on them from the start, and made sure the town and the rest of the fans didn’t suffer as a consequence.
“If you are a visiting fan tomorrow, then you are most welcome to Lurgan. We’re confident you’ll be received warmly by fans, stewards and ourselves alike. Hopefully we’ll enjoy what happens on the pitch more than you will, but we’ve no doubt that the day will be enjoyed for what it should be.
“If however you are one of the few we know are thinking about coming down to start trouble, our message is clear- we are ready for you. We’ve been watching, we know who you are, and we know what you look like. We know who you hang about with, and who you’re likely to travel with. Local Coleraine officers will be making the journey too, so don’t think us country bumpkins won’t recognise you.
“Also, know this - evidence gathering crews will be deployed. That means that as well as doing all we can to nail any trouble makers there and then, if you happen to get away, we will have footage of you. If you’re visiting and are unfamiliar with how we roll in this district, read up on Op Exposure. If we don’t get you at the time, we will in the long grass. It’s what we do best.
“We will not tolerate trouble at our games. Last year one young lad ran onto the pitch. Due to his age, he got a caution. Another young lad was involved in throwing flares. He was identified by CCTV and nabbed at the next game.
“If you’re intent on trouble, don’t even bother getting on the bus or the train. Anyone of age who should know better and causes any trouble WILL go to court. In every case we WILL push for a football banning order.
“To the rest of the fans, be assured that we put these measures in place for YOU. The crowds we’re expecting this weekend may be the biggest for both clubs in some time. The atmosphere should be electric! If there is anyone who let’s down the club, let the nearest steward or police officer know.
“Here’s hoping for a keenly fought game...and a Lurgan Blues win,” said the PSNI Craigavon officer.